Saturday, December 20, 2003


And now, the second and final oblivious-toward-obvious-baseball-happenings post...

This wasn't a game I thought the Sonics would win. This was their fourth game in five nights, and I bet they were giving a big thanks to the NBA's schedule makers, who put the fourth game of the stretch IN DENVER. The fatigue is bad enough, but the altitude...that's brutal. Add to that the fact that Antonio Daniels (inspired play of late) and Brent Barry did not play.

But I guess it doesn't matter if somehow Richie Frahm scores 31 points (10 of 11 shooting) off the bench. Not bad for the former Gonzaga guy, who drained six from downtown. Ron Murray also added a double-double, with 24 pts and 10 dimes. The Sonics also managed to get to the line 33 times (hitting 26), which is a decent indicator of the team taking the ball to the hoop.

One play inparticular showed the smartness of Ron Murray. Holding the ball for the last shot of the 3rd quarter, Murray stood still in backcourt before dribbling toward the top of the arc, guarded by Andre Miller. He started his forward movement to draw contact from Miller, and then he put up a shot and was fouled. Three shots. Miller couldn't believe the call, but it was a smart move by Murray.

Luke Ridnour of the town of Blaine and the University of Oregon (town of Eugene, which stinks) got his first NBA start and turned in a line of 17 pts, 4 assists, and 4 boards. He might not be able to defend too well, but man, the guy can just run circles around people, and if they find a way to bottle that up, he could be special. Vladimir Radmanovic, however, is crap. For the rap that Ridnour has gotten for not being able to defend people, Vlad Rad is worse. Some people talk about how most of the Euro players have a great shot but can't defend for beans -- this guy is the epitome of that school of thought.

Rashard Lewis also turned in his obligatory 17 points, but only getting to the line for one free throw.

Big kudos to the Nuggets equipment managing staff (or whoever was in charge) for putting the correct Portuguese accent mark on the back of Nene Hilario's jersey. The mark is a hat, or a "^", over the second "e" in "Nene." And yeah, Portuguese, Brazil...he's taking the one name (Nene) like all those soccer stars.

The Amare Stoudemire-less Phoenix Suns come to KeyArena on Tuesday. The Sonics have the distinction of having lost to them already. The Suns are Marbury, Shawn Marion, and jack without Stoudemire.

One last basketball-related note for everyone...if you managed to sneak a peek at that Wake Forest/North Carolina game that was on Fox Sports Net, then you and I saw quite a battle. Whew, man. A triple-OT barnburner, that one was...

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Here's the first of two oblivious-toward-obvious-baseball-happenings posts...

Tonight I was within the range of the Comcast cable conglomerate, who shows the CBC as part of their channel lineup. As a result, I was witness to goalie Dan Cloutier's first shutout of the season and the 11th of his career. He made all the stops (24) he needed to and most importantly, didn't screw up.

Scoring goals tonight for the Canucks were Markus Naslund (18th this year), Mike Keane (3rd), and Jarkko Ruutu (2nd)

Naslund's goal came off a Todd Bertuzzi feed. He then wristed it through the legs of Oiler backup goalie Ty Conklin, who just didn't cover up the hole quick enough.

Keane's goal came off a defensive giveaway right in front of Conklin and the net. Keane wristed it in from there.

Ruutu's goal came off an errant Oiler pass. He weaved around the defenseman and deked Conklin, who dove. Ruutu went high and scored.

Oiler captain Jason Smith had a nice battle going all night with Todd Bertuzzi. Lots of hits, board hits, and slashes.

The Canucks found a way to win in regulation tonight, which is a refreshing change from their play of late. They scored three goals, also a refreshing change from their lower-scoring games. What remains unchanged, however, is their crappiness on the power play, as tonight they were 0-for-6. It's horrible, and Bertuzzi only has two power play goals so far. It could be worse -- Edmonton is 28th in the NHL on the power play, converting at a sorry 10.8% clip.

Next game Monday at the Garage...Kings/Canucks

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Non-tenders, via ESPN

There are a few guys on this non-tender list I wouldn't mind seeing the M's take a chance on. Scott Sauerbeck, Mark Redman, Randall Simon, to name a few.

But we are talking about the Seattle Mariners here.

Tampa Bay non-tendered Olympia native Jared Sandberg today. Guess what that means???

He's going to sign with the Mariners.

He's 25 years old, which falls well short of the 30-something line. Now, I'm not saying that Sandberg is a great player, because he's not. But if the Mariners really believe in playing the local boy game, then bring Ryne's nephew aboard and get rid of Wolf Freak (Willie Bloomquist).

After hitting 18 homers and driving in 54 runs in 2002, Sandberg struggled in 2003, playing in just 55 games and batting just .213. But again, he is better than Willie Bloomquist.

Let me state for the record that I'm not favoring a move for Sandberg. I'm just being realistic, that's all. The M's love local players, and you shouldn't be shocked if the M's do sign Jared Sandberg.

But since the Mariners will feel the urge to waste another roster spot on a crappy backup outfielder, watch them sign K-Swiss Boy, Gabe Kapler. What we see in Kapler is not what the M's see in him. We see the fact that Kapler sucks major ass. But the M's see dollar signs, because the girls love Kapler. It's a terrible way to run a baseball team, I know it is.

But again, we are talking about the Seattle Mariners here.


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Updated AP story

``As of today, he'd be in the rotation and an important part of the rotation, but I'm not afraid to move anybody to improve the club,'' general manager Bill Bavasi said. ``By our signing, this signals that this guy is pretty darn important.''

"As of today"

And judging by his track record so far in Seattle, Bavasi isn't afraid to move anybody. Hell, he traded the best bat on the M's bench for a guy who's literally one of the worst players in the game of baseball, so believe me, anything can happen here.

The Mariners also offered contracts to several others, including right-handers Gil Meche and Joel Piniero and catcher Ben Davis.

``All of our players are reserved in one way or another,'' Bavasi said.

A no-brainer here. Even Bavasi couldn't screw this up.

Teams indicated to the Mariners they preferred to wait and see if they could land Garcia as a free agent, should be not receive a contract offer.

``The ability to trade him was destroyed by that, but that's OK,'' Bavasi said. ``I don't say that with a complaint.''

No, it is not OK, Bavasi. You were the one who went public and said that Freddy would be non-tendered. So you should feel lucky that Garcia won't get away from Seattle for nothing.

Agent Peter Greenberg, who represents Garcia, said it was clear during negotiations what direction the Mariners were going.

``They told us they weren't going to pay the same salary,'' he said. ``We said we wouldn't take a pay cut and were looking for a modest increase.''

Bavasi said Garcia showed little interest in multiyear offers, planning instead on having a good season and then testing his value as a free agent.

Bavasi said the front office considered making Garcia a non-tender and then trying to negotiate with him as a free agent, but team officials weren't confident they could bring a player of Garcia's caliber back.

Nor did they believe any of their minor-league pitchers could replace him immediately.

``We just kept coming back to same spot, which was, `We're better off letting these kids develop further. We're better off keeping our horse,''' Bavasi said.

All fair points, no doubt about it.

Garcia's 2003 season was not worthy of receiving a huge raise. And what's funny about his 2004 contract is that it is the same amount he made in 2003, when he won his arbitration case.

And as good as these pitching prospects on the farm may be, it is better to let them develop for another year. But this could all change if Garcia is traded.

``When you talk about erratic, it's not that one night he's got stuff and another night he doesn't,'' Bavasi said. ``He's always got stuff. It's just a matter of getting a handle on it.''

Bavasi said team officials think highly of pitching coach Bryan Price and believe he can help Garcia.

``We're going to bet that this kid will bounce back and do what he is capable of doing,'' Bavasi said.

Well, Price was very frustrated with Freddy over the course of the 2003 season and wasn't sure what to do with him. But I just have this feeling that Freddy, if he is a Mariner in 2004, will be back to his normal self again.

Because let's be honest, this ballclub is going to need their pitching staff to be very good in 2004, since the offense is still in a state of same ol' situationitis.

Again, let's hope that our idiot of a general manager doesn't trade Garcia for a bag of dog turd and James Baldwin's Preparation H collection.


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1 year, 6.875 million

Garcia has averaged 220 innings over the past three seasons, and over his five-year major league career he has a 72-43 record and 3.97 ERA. At his best, he's one of the top pitchers in baseball.

His inconsistency, though, has been maddening for the Mariners. Garcia slumped to a 12-14 record with a 4.51 ERA last season after going 18-6 in 2001 and 16-10 in 2002.

In May, he lost three straight starts, with his ERA climbing to 5.90, allowing nine runs during a 10-run inning in a loss to the New York Yankees and seven runs in a loss at Cleveland.

He straightened things out, rebounding to allow only two runs over a span of 24 1-3 innings, a 0.74 ERA. In July and August, he went 0-6 with a 10.03 ERA -- the longest losing streak of his career.

In 2002, Garcia went 11-5 with a 3.44 ERA before making his second trip to the All-Star game, then 5-5 with a 5.66 ERA in the second half.

Garcia has been Seattle's opening-day starter for the past three years. He joined the Mariners along with John Halama in the October 1998 trade that sent Randy Johnson to Houston.

I've always been a Freddy Garcia fan. Sure, he's pissed me off a couple of times with some pretty horrific outings. But at the same time, I would have hated to see him non-tendered, leaving the Mariners with nothing.

Now, just because Garcia re-signed today doesn't mean that he will be a Mariner in 2004.

There's a chance he could still be traded. But I hope he isn't traded straight up for Jose friggin Valentin. That would not be good at all.

If Garcia does stay in Seattle for the 2004 season, then that isn't such a bad thing. Yes, he has struggled since the 2002 All Star Break. But Garcia has talent. When he's on, he is one of the best pitchers in the American League, if not all of baseball.

A Jamie Moyer/Freddy Garcia/Joel Pineiro/Gil Meche/Ryan Franklin starting rotation doesn't sound too bad to me. The M's could do a lot worse here.

We'll see what happens. Let's hope that our idiot of a general manager doesn't trade Garcia for a bag of dog turd and James Baldwin's Preparation H collection.


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Jeromy Burnitz is going to hit 40 home runs as a Colorado Rockie in 2004. The guy can rake...and K a lot. He would have been great as a Mariner, but unfortunately, the M's have Quinton McCRACKenpipe. Wonderful.

I'm a huge fan of Carlos Lee. The guy just owns Safeco Field. But he's not worth 15 million over the next 2 years. The only reason why he will make 8 million in 2005 is because Magglio Ordonez won't be in Chicago. Maggs is a FA after the 2004 season, but you already knew that.

Welcome back to the big leagues, Olmedo Saenz.

Tanyon Sturtze is crap. Do I need to go on here?

Karim Garcia sucks as well. Watch him land in Tampa Bay, if he doesn't end up in jail.

Giovanni Carrara was a big fat mistake for the Mariners organization in 2003. A waste of space who will now take up residence as the newest Mistake by the Lake.

And Frank Menechino was non-tendered by the A's today. Which means he could be a possible target for the Mariners. He's 31, and has played in the A.L. West.

That's all for now...tonight will be very interesting, I'm sure of it.


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More stuff from RotoWorld...

Dodgers signed RHP Tanyon Sturtze to a minor league contract.
You know, when I see that pitchers like Rob Bell and (Dar)Tanyon Sturtze can still get jobs in the Majors, it makes me think of two things -- (1) the extent to which expansion of the Majors has drained the pitching talent pool, and (2) I should keep my ears tuned for when the next MLB public tryout is and give it a whirl. I'm 22, but am a tiny 5'7" and 160, with Randy Winn's arm. Some may think I'm crazy in saying I'd try out, but all I hear in my mind is...TANYON STURTZE!!! The guy's crap!!

Dodgers signed infielder Olmedo Saenz to a minor league contract.
This guy was one of those spot DHs for the A's a couple years ago. I don't know where he was last year.

Rockies signed outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, who had been with the Dodgers, to a one-year contract.
Watch as the Mariners say goodbye once again to the idea of having a lefty bat with pop on the bench. Of course, Burnitz is probably looking for a boost of confidence he hasn't had since leaving Milwaukee, and a year in thin air will probably do that for him, to the tune of 30+ bombs.

Here's to the next few hours of moves in baseball, and here's to hoping Gillvasi and the Mariners don't crap the bed, though I'm not putting it past them.

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Jeff Cirillo is officially the most hated man to ever don a Seattle Mariners uniform.

Bobby Ayala, who's probably working at some Sonic Drive In in Iowa, can rest easy now.

Let me put it this way. At least the M's were able to make to the playoffs in 1995 and 1997, despite Ayala's horrible karma.

The M's have fallen short the last two seasons. Ironically, the first two seasons of Jeff Cirillo's tenure in Seattle.

I can't believe I had this dumbass sign my ball last year at Fan Fest. I should have waited in line to get Mark McLemore's autograph, at least he was decent for the M's at one time.

As for "celebrities that share the same birthday as me", I have some real star power:

Eddie Murray. Edward James Olmos. Steve Jobs. Manon Rheaume. And Teri Weigel, who's much better than Anna Nicole Smith.


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I just found out Bloomer's birthday is 27 Nov. Mine is the 28th. Of course, my birthday does have the star power of such people as Anna Nicole Smith, Jon Stewart, and Paul Shaffer. Vin Scully and Garry Shandling follow on the 29th.

Though the 27th features the birthday of the great Bruce Lee, it also has Robin Givens and everyone's good friend, Jaleel White. Heehehehe, snort-snort.

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Steve suggests the Mariners cut Willie Bloomquist and bring aboard Chris Stynes.

In that last sentence, I could pretty much put any name after the word "aboard," and I would like it immensely. Hey...if the Mariners want to play this local-boy game, why not send Bloomer and some other minor-leaguer to SF for local Central Kitsap boy Todd Linden (Baseball Am stats/Baseball Ref stats), who is a 23-year-old switch-hitter with a decent amount of pop (more than Bloom, at least)? Can you guess if I like Central Kitsap better than South Kitsap?

Anyway, great idea, Steve.

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Just another midnight and another two articles...

Finnigan has his article covering Jeff Cirillo's exercising his no-trade clause. Even still, much of the article had to do with Freddy Garcia and the circumstances surrounding the tender/nontender decision. All I'll say about this is that it seems everyone forgot (or at least the media did before tonight, and in turn everyone else forgot) that Jeff Cirillo had a limited no-trade clause built into his contract.

The one quote that caught my eye here, though, was this --
If Garcia agrees [to a $6-7M/yr deal believed to be offered by the Mariners], and chooses not to become a non-tendered free agent, it is expected the pitcher's contract would eat up the financial leeway the Mariners built into the 2004 player payroll budget by limiting Ichiro's contract to a possible $7.5 million next season, including one-quarter of the prorated $6 million signing bonus, plus incentives.

And of course, it perks my ears up whenever I read a Mariner-related article and see the phrase "financial leeway." If your ears/eyes are tuned to the same frequency/wavelength as mine, you'd know that my interpretation of that quote is "we're not doing a damn thing at the next deadline AGAIN, just in case you had any inclination to think we were."

And here's Hickey's article on the situation, with much more stuff about the growing phenomenon of nontenders and the Rich Aurilia pursuit.

News should pick up in about 18 hours, because midnight ET is the non-tender deadline for arb-eligible players.

I've said it before, but I miss the rush...whoever decided to push the July 31st trading deadline up from midnight ET to 4pm ET should have their head(s) checked. There was just this certain rush I got on the night of July 31st when I would watch Baseball Tonight and they were busy as hell in the studio, and they were doing game highlights and trade coverage in the same action-packed show. All the while, they had every camera shot of when the player would be sitting there in the dugout and the manager would come up to them, then the player would suddenly get up and stroll toward the tunnel. Great times. PUT THE TRADE DEADLINE BACK TO MIDNIGHT ET!!!

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Friday, December 19, 2003


I've been out most of the day, but luckily, not much of note has happened. Except the Sonics lost to the Spurs and the Lady Huskies lost to 4th-ranked Texas Tech at home to complete the Texas two-step in Seattle.

To the RotoWorld wire...
Ben Weber's agent, Andy Lipman, said the Angels have made several one-year offers that he and his client considered unacceptable.
Anything to break up the components of the Angels bullpen is a very good thing. How Ben Weber gets anybody out is beyond me. Do people buy into the persona? It seems like his fastball tops out at 89...it must have some sick movement or something.

Angels signed outfielder Jose Guillen, who had been with the Athletics, to a two-year, $6 million contract with an option for 2006.
Looks like the Angels have their new rightfielder, if they know any better, because that's the only place you put this guy's amazing cannon arm. This seemingly means Tim Salmon will be the everyday DH, what with Brad Fullmer out the door.

Yankees non-tendered outfielder Karim Garcia.
What a great couple of days for Karim Garcia. From an assault charge to a pink slip. What this guy was doing on the Yankees in the first place was a mystery to me. If memory serves me right, he had a couple of fluke games here and there and his value went up so Cleveland could trade him off. But come on...the guy's a hack.

Devil Rays agreed to terms with infielder Geoff Blum on a one-year, $1.5 million contract.
Just in case anyone thought Geoff Blum might be a bench idea.

Devil Rays agreed to terms with RHP Rob Bell on a one-year, $500,000 contract.
I didn't know that piles of crap were worth $500k. I think the D-Rays overpaid here.

Outfielder John Vander Wal declined Milwaukee's offer of arbitration.
The Brewers have until Jan. 8 to re-sign Vander Wal, but it doesn't look like they're going to do so.

This seems too easy and makes too much sense. Therefore, Gillvasi will look the other way.

White Sox agreed to terms with outfielder Carlos Lee on two one-year, $15 million contract with an option for 2006.
The Raul Ibanez deal shot down the chances of Carlos Lee as a Seattle Mariner, but this just made it official. Sorry, Jeremy.

And to save the best for last...
Indians signed RHP Giovanni Carrara to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
At least there's a little something to put a smile on all our faces. The weather in the Puget Sound region today was just horrible. At 1pm, it seemed more like it was 5:30pm thanks to all the clouds. Seasonal affective disorder is in full swing in these parts. But thank you to Indians GM Mark Shapiro for pulling the trigger on this one. He's obviously on the skids after not pulling that deal for Carlos Guillen.

Well, there's the comment-worthy RotoWorld stuff I found. There's more, but the other stuff seemed maybe a little too obvious or too obscure.

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Alex isn't happy, haha!!!

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez's agent said his client had made a large enough financial concession to allow the proposed blockbuster trade to Boston, and blamed the Red Sox and Rangers for not getting the deal done.

Scott Boras said he would leave New York on Saturday afternoon and return to his home in California.

"We worked very hard on this deal," Boras said early Saturday. "Alex has done everything he can to show his good faith by committing $13 million. The two sides were $20 million apart. You would think mutual concessions by both teams would allow this deal to happen."


Boo fricking hoo, Alex and Scott BorASS!

Good faith my ass. If Alex was acting in such good faith, then talks of this deal wouldn't even be happening in the first place. Remember, Nomar Garciaparra is still the shortstop of the Boston Red Sox. Imagine how Nomar is feeling right about now. Then again, he's with Mia Hamm, so I guess he can't feel too bad.

But in all seriousness...

I like Alex Rodriguez. He's a great player, there is no denying this. I'm proud to say that I've never booed the guy at Safeco Field, because there is simply no reason to. But if I was a Texas Ranger fan and Alex is still a Ranger during the 2004 season, I would boo the hell out of him.

He's tired of losing in Arlington, and you could feel sorry for him in that respect. But at the same time, he's the one who signed that 10 year, 252 million dollar deal. Now, if I were offered that type of money, I'd probably take it too.

However, it has hurt the Rangers ability to field a competitive team. Chan Ho Park's deal is also affecting the Rangers as well, but Chan Ho isn't making 252M over 10 years now, is he?

I'm going to be honest, I want to see a hostile Boston clubhouse in 2004. In 2003, it was too harmonious for my tastes. Hugging? Come on, that's not the Boston Red Sox I know. Now, it won't be "25 players, 25 cabs", but believe me, if Nomar and Manny Ramirez are indeed staying in Boston for the 2004 season, then there will be tension.

And there will be tension in Arlington as well, with Alex having to return to the Rangers clubhouse after all of this drama.

Have a good weekend...and drink heavily. With Gillivasi, you may need to start drinking right now.


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Yahoo link

Suzuki gets a $6 million signing bonus, $5 million 2004 and annual salaries of $11 million in the final three seasons, according to contract details obtained by The Associated Press.

In the first three years, he would earn bonuses of $50,000 for 400 plate appearances, and $100,000 each for 500 and 600 plate appearances. In 2007, he would get $100,000 for 400 plate appearances and $200,000 each for 500 and 600 plate appearances.

His contract also calls for housing allowances of $28,000 in 2004, $29,000 in 2005, $30,000 in 2006 and $31,000 in 2007. Suzuki also gets an interpreter, personal trainer, ground transportation during spring training and the regular season, and four round-trip first-class plane tickets from Japan to Seattle twice every year.

All I ask out of Ichiro is that he plays great baseball from APRIL TO OCTOBER. No more of this April to July crap, OK? That's not too much to ask out of the highest paid player on the team now is it?

Moving on to non-Ichiro news:

As for Steve's suggestion of Richard Hidalgo possibly coming to Seattle, it is simply not going to happen.

He's not over 30, and he isn't Japanese. Sorry. But nevertheless, he's a better baseball player than Raul Ibanez.

Which is why the Mariners won't get him. But hey, we can all look forward to the Glendon Rusch minor league contract coming up!!!


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REAL MEN OF GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All of the Budweiser "Real Men of Genius/American Heroes" mp3s are at this site.

My personal favorite?

"Mr. Sports Fan Face Painter"

As if weighing 400 pounds didn't call enough attention to yourself, you had to go shirtless and paint yourself bright orange.

I SAID LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And you top it off with a rainbow wig, oversized sunglasses, and absolutely no shame.

NO I'M SERIOUS GUYS, LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And in the "WOW" category, the man who sings the over-the-top ballads is none other than former Survivor lead singer Dave Bickler. In case you're wondering, it was Bickler who did "Eye Of The Tiger". The rest of the Survivor's mid-1980s hits were done by Jimi Jamison, who wasn't so bad himself.

"Eye of the Tiger" and "Burning Heart": two key parts of Rocky III and Rocky IV, respectively. YOU KNOW IT! YOU KNOW IT!

Anyways, amuse yourself with these classics.

And drink all the Anheuser-Busch that you can this weekend, or whatever your beverage of choice is, because it is going to be a very interesting weekend in Mariner Land.


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I didn't like John McGrath after his management-defensive stance of the Mariners at the last trade deadline, but this Ichiro article has some jewels.

[Ichiro's] average is down, from a league-leading .350 in 2001 to .312 in 2003. (What do Mark Loretta, Mark Grudzielanek, Scott Podsednik, Mike Lieberthal and A.J. Pierzynski have in common? All of them hit at least .312 last year.)

Ichiro's stolen-base totals have fallen even more dramatically, from 56 (in 70 attempts) as a rookie to 34 (in 42 attempts) in 2003.
... Ichiro's OPS last season was .788, comparable with the .775 of Mike Cameron, the serial rally killer whose all-or-nothing-at-all swing rendered him expendable.
Considered an MVP candidate over the first four months of the 2003 season, Ichiro went into a 21-for-124 slump that gutted his batting average from .340 in early August into .307 on Sept. 18.

Golden. Absolutely golden. Great stats.

John McGrath is praying, as are all of us, that the Ichiro we see in 2004 is more like the Ichiro we saw in 2001.

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In the last couple weeks, the Mariner blognation has nearly (if not outright) doubled in size.

In an undoubtedly related note, I just looked at the BlogStats for Sports and B's, and we needed only 18 days in December to blow past November's 30-day hit total of ~4100 hits. It's a breakneck speed, it's crazy...and I love it. Sports and Brems has come a long way in a mere four months.

Thanks to everyone who reads and thanks to everyone who cares.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003



Freddy Garcia to the White Sox for Jose Valentin.


I swear to god, I can't make this crap up if I tried. Valentin has a little pop, but come on, the guy sucks ass. To think that Garcia could actually be dealt for a piece of crap like Valentin is just assinine to me. But these are the Bill Bavasi Seattle Mariners.

And for Tim at Mariner Talk, I don't think the majority of the Mariner Blognation is feeling "woe is me" at all, nor are we being impatient. We should expect this ballclub to be better than they have been the last two seasons. And sadly, right now, it doesn't look like the Mariners will be a playoff team. Hell, I think they could be a 85-77 team in 2004. But anything can happen, who knows.

BTW, for all of the Mariner apologists, just check out these words from Art Thiel:

In short, the Mariners need to deal with it, particularly if they have no plans -- despite their financial success -- to run with the big dogs in New York, Boston and, suddenly, Baltimore.

They don't, with yesterday's one exception, want to pay premium dollars, and they don't want high-maintenance personalities.

But if those limits mean exclusively a roster of 25 Oleruds, Ichiros, Wilsons and Winns, it suggests the goal is not the World Series but recognition as the Boy Scouts' 93-win team of the century.

Art says it all. And I'm just left with nothing else to say after that. Good night.


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One of the first phone calls Paul Quantrill made after agreeing on his yet unannounced two-year contract with the Yankees was to a Dodgers official. Quantrill thanked him for his time with the Dodgers, told him how exciting it was to be a Yankee and finished up his sentiments with this kicker: "I'm really happy to be getting away from Kevin Brown."


Wow. That's even worse than Kevin Millar saying on ESPN that he would rather have Alex Rodriguez than Nomar Garciaparra.

Boy, it should be a fun Yankee clubhouse. Hell, sure beats the Christopher Cross-loving, Members Only-jacket wearing Mariner clubhouse, that's for sure.

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Ichiro. 4 years. 44 million.

So there you go. Ichiro's new deal is 4 years, $44 million, with a $6 million dollar signing bonus.

I'm not going to say too much about the deal itself until I see the exact details (how much he will make a season), but on the surface, it is obvious that this is not just a baseball-only deal. Since I worked for the Mariners merchandising department for two seasons(2000 and 2002), I know the power of Ichiro when it comes to merchandise. Hell, the cash registers were louder than Ichiro's second half production the last two seasons.

The Mariners avoided Saturday night's salary arbitration deadline with Suzuki. To do otherwise would have looked unfavorable in Japanese culture, sending a message that club officials were unable to determine his value.

"In the culture of Ichiro and others like him, it's something disconcerting for someone other than the club to determine his worth," Attanasio said.

I really don't want to sound disrespectful here, but can we please get off the whole "Japanese respect" deal? Ichiro has said that he would feel insulted if the Mariners took him to arbitration. Boo hoo, Ichiro. There are a lot of things worse in life than being insulted by a baseball franchise.

I'll say it again, I was insulted by every Ichiro groundout in the second halves of 2002 and 2003. I was also insulted by the lack of fire in this team period. And hell, this offseason is pretty insulting.

For those of you who say that I should lay off Ichiro's lack of production in the second half, too bad, so sad. Everybody loves Ichiro. I like Ichiro myself. But he has to be held accountable as well for the M's collapses the last two seasons.

One thing is for sure: He better produce the next four seasons. And I don't mean just the first four months of the season either. I'm talking April to October. In some cases, March to October, if the MLB season starts in March again in the coming years.

That isn't too much to ask out of a guy who will be making 44 million the next four years is it?

Finally, save up your Christmas money. It's time to go buy those Ichi-Jocks and Ichi-Thongs, coming to your favorite Mariners Team Stores in the spring.


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The A's, with a deal close to being done to bring aboard Arthur Rhodes, have gotten another lefty for the bullpen, Chris Hammond, from the Yankees for two minor leaguers.

The A's will have a bullpen equipped with three lefties in the form of Ricardo Rincon, Chris Hammond, and Arthur Rhodes.

Yes, it's all part of Billy Beane's plan to exploit the Mariners in the late innings and especially their crappy bench. They don't have anything close to the bench depth necessary to flip-flop when the A's start going righty-lefty back-and-forth with their arms. How does that Greg Colbrunn move look now?

Rizzs: "This call to the pen is brought to you by AT&T and MLife. It's 5-3 Oakland here in the top of the 8th at the Network Associates Coliseum, and Arthur Rhodes is coming in to protect a two-run lead with Boone on second with one out. Boone got aboard on a leadoff double to rightcenter off Justin Duchscherer. And pinch-hitting now for the Mariners is their new acquisition from Arizona, Quentin McCracken. He played both baseball and basketball at Duke -- what an incredible athlete he is. Here comes the first pitch on the way to McCracken, up and away for ball 1, 1-0. Must have been tough for Q to deal with those Cameron Crazies...those Duke fans loooove their basketball. Here's the 1-0 on the way to Q, a bit inside for ball 2, two balls and no strikes on McCracken. McCracken...hit .227 last year with Arizona...BUT he hit .309 for the D-Backs in 2002. It's great to have his bat from both sides of the plate on this Mariners team. You could just see it in Bo-Mel's eyes that he likes having this guy on the team. Here's the 2-0 offering on the way to Q, swung on and it's a slow roller to the shortstop Crosby, who underhands to Ellis, who throws to Hatteberg at first for the double play. And that will retire the side. No runs, one hit, no errors, and nobody left, as we head to the bottom of the 8th. Oakland 5, and the Mariners 3."

And yes, because Rick is an idiot, Crack actually played football and baseball at Duke...NOT basketball. But we can all imagine him flubbing that one, couldn't we? Thanks to Jeremy for contributing to that basketball part.

And yes, I may end up using more fictional Rizzs calls throughout the winter as wellas the season. Stay tuned.

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Just a couple quick ones before I free up the 56k over here in the Town of B...

The Twinkies have picked up catcher Henry Blanco. Baseball Ref doesn't have any readily available catcher gun-down statistics, but I can assure you that though Blanco doesn't have Ivan Rodriguez- or Bengie Molina-type numbers in that area, he's pretty derned close. One could look at it like this -- in the Metrodome, the Twins will try to run all day, and the road teams will probably not.

Second quick one: CBS SportsLine reports that Mike Price will be the coach to Texas-El Paso (UTEP) pending approval of the school president. I remember a couple weeks ago, some guy in my GIS class was trying to tell everyone that Price's hiring at Idaho (which I'm pretty sure never went beyond the rumor stage) was official. I told him he was full of crap, and I defied him to find a Google search justifying his claim. He found a link that used horribly speculative language. I laughed in his face.

Third: Woodinville's Matt Tuiasosopo has made an oral commitment to play football at UW. Of course, it's oral, which means he can bail out on the Huskies.

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General manager Bill Bavasi was vacationing in New Orleans after the winter meetings but returned to Seattle on Wednesday for what Suzuki's agent, Tony Attanasio, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was a "make-or-break day" in negotiations.



And by the way, New Orleans is not that great of a city. It's under sea level for crying out loud. All New Orleans is is a vacation city for rednecks who are bored with Branson, MO.


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4 year deal, reported on ESPN News.

No details on the exact money yet, but they will come soon enough.

I'm very interested to see what the exact deal is, and so are all of you, I'm sure of it.


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If the Mariners acquire Jose Valentin from the White Sox, then Jose Lopez better be ready to play for the big club in 2005.

And while we are on Lopez, he better be a damn good player. I mean, there's a reason why the Mariners didn't sign Miguel Tejada and won't even try to acquire Nomar Garciaparra, right? Yeah, it's because of Lopez. He better be of the Nomar-Tejada-Alex Rodriguez variety and not of the Rey Ordonez-crap bin.

The same thing goes for the M's pitching prospects, i.e. Clint Nagoette, Rett Johnson, and Travis Blackley. The M's are so afraid of dealing their pitching prospects for a bat. I mean, crap, if you deal one of those guys it won't hurt you THAT much.

It's so painfully obvious that this offense has needed a big bat in their lineup since Alex left after the 2000 season. But the M's are still subscribing to the "pitching and defense wins championships" line of thinking. What good does pitching and defense do if you can't score runs?

Those top 3 pitching prospects better be 15-20 game winners to back up the Mariners inability to deal them. Remember, as good as these guys have been in the minor leagues, they could very well be Dave Fleming, Roger Salkeld, and Bob Wolcott.

Prospects are just that, prospects. Everybody needs to remember that.


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I've said that all along.

Sadly, it has been a huge offseason for all the wrong reasons.

Raul Ibanez 3 years, 13.25 million
2004: 3.25 M (2 M signing bonus)
2005: 3.75 M
2006: 4.25 M

And for what? His decent stint in Kansas City?

Face it, Raul Ibanez has, and always will, suck ass. I didn't like the guy when he was originally in Seattle, and I don't like him now. But of course, the Mariners aren't as smart as I am, so they went and signed him anyway.

Quinton McCracken acquired from Arizona for Greg Colbrunn
2004: 1.75 M

Again, and for what? Don't worry, Ricky Watters didn't warp my brain this morning.

I don't know, if the Mariners want a 4th OF-type, why not bring up Jamal Strong? Hell, I hope McCRACKenpipe gets the same fate handed to him as Alex Arias, Jamey Wright, and Brent Mayne.

All 3 of those players were acquired by the M's in previous offseasons and were released at the end of spring training. We can only hope the same thing happens with McCRACKenpipe.

I miss Greg Colbrunn. I'm sure McCRACKenpipe is a nice guy, but he's a horrible baseball player. But Colbrunn isn't horrible.

Scott Spiezio 3 years, 9.15 million
2004: 2.5 M (200K signing bonus)
2005: 3.1 M
2006: 3.1 M
(2007 3.25 M option or a 250K buyout)

Spiezio is a nice player, but he's not worth 9.15 million.

However, as bad as Sandfrog sucks, Sandfrog is better than The Baha Men, B2K, Lil' Romeo, and Sara Evans.

The connection? Those musical acts have all performed pre game concerts in the Bullpen Market.

On the other deals Gillivasi has done this offseason:

I have no problem with Eddie Guardado. He's good. And he's certainly no Raul Ibanez.

Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Ryan Franklin are solid cogs of the M's pitching staff. The M's are much better off with those two in the fold.

Edgar coming back for one more season is a good thing. But at the same time, I want to see him tell the M's brass come Spring Training that he has better things to do with his time than to play with another ballclub that is good, but will fall short in the end.

And if you didn't catch it the other day, the "letter from Edgar" to the fans is such a crock of bullcrap. It's sad that the M's had to stoop that low to use him like that.

That's all for now. More stuff later...


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From today's P-I story by John Hickey...
[Ichiro] wants a contract that will put him among the elite in the game -- perhaps like the three-year, $39 million contract the New York Yankees used to lure Garry (sp.) Sheffield into the fold in the Bronx...

For the Sports and B's take on this quote, look no further than these posts (1, 2, 3, 4) by Jeremy, as well as these posts (1, 2) written by me.

Bob Finnigan's article brings nothing to the table for me other than to give me statistical proof of what I previously thought -- Jose Valentin's middle initial is brought to us by the letter E.

From the LaRue article...
"It's an exciting team, a lot like the Angels in 2002. That team never gave up and had a real solid bullpen that gave us the chance to come back," (Scott) Spiezio said. "The Mariners have the same core of guys like (Bret) Boone and Edgar (Martinez) and Ichiro - they don't give up. We've had them down many times and they've come back and beat us.

Certainly Scott Spiezio doesn't realize how much more of a complete team his 2002 Angels team was. I was scared of Garret Anderson, Troy Glaus, Darin Erstad, Tim Salmon, et. al. I was afraid of BRAD FULLMER (way to miss the boat there, Gillvasi). I just named off five guys who can rake. And they drove in runs such as those pesky bastards who I hate, Adam Kennedy and David Eckstein, who stretch the plate-crowding/evading beanballs rules in every at-bat. With the Mariners lineup as it is right now, pitch around Bret Boone and Edgar, and you're home free.

Goodnight, everyone. My brain is not working anymore. Seeya later today.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003


What can you say? Like I said last night, even though Dallas has sucked, it's still Dallas, and they still have Marty Turco in net. The Canucks were also on the second night of a back-to-back.

Dallas drew first blood on a Jason Arnott goal less than five minutes into the game.

Markus Naslund scored the only Canuck goal of the night, his 17th of the year, assisted by linemates Brendan Morrison and Todd Bertuzzi.

I know I like to say sometimes that Dan Cloutier likes to give up goals in bunches. Tonight, the goals that gave the Stars a 3-1 lead were 3:17 apart (Bill Guerin and Rob DiMaio). Not quite sure if they're close enough to be considered a "bunch" like some of his 30-seconds-apart goals are, but they're relatively close.

Cloutier's first game back from his groin injury was just last night against Nashville. All the Vancouver print articles from this morning seemed to indicate that Manitoba Moose callup Alex Auld would get the start in net tonight. That was not to be the case. And for goodness' sake, Cloutier just came off a groin injury...surely starting him in back-to-back games in two consecutive nights isn't a good thing, right?

Vancouver travels to Edmonton on Saturday night. Since I'm in B-town for the holidays, Vancouver at Edmonton on a Saturday night means exactly one thing...Saturday night is Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. I have the chance to watch the Canucks for exactly the second time this year. Hope they can ratchet up the offense again.

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The Sonics had a lead of 5 in the 4th quarter when I woke up with the radio on. As soon as I was awake, the Nuggets came back to take the lead.

With the Sonics down 97-95, Rashard Lewis made some sort of behind-the-basket-type layup to tie the score, and got fouled in the process. Last night, he missed the free throws that could have iced the game. Tonight, he hit the free throw to put the Sonics up 98-97 with 10.8 seconds left in the game.

Andre Miller inbounded the ball to Carmelo Anthony, who drove to the basket untouched and unimpeded and hit a layup. Nuggets win 99-98. That's a hell of a time for a defensive lapse.

The Nuggets are now 17-9. Absolutely crazy.

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Infielder signs to play third for Mariners

Scott Spiezio is bringing his switch-hitting bat to the Seattle Mariners. He'll make no promises, though, about possible appearances by his heavy metal band. "I don't know if we can play that city," Spiezio said Wednesday after agreeing to a $9.15 million, three-year contract. "There are too many good bands. We don't want to destroy a good thing."

I'm in total agreeance here.

Don't destroy a GREAT thing. Seattle has a great music tradition, and I would hate for Sandfrog to screw that up. Let me count the reasons why Seattle has such a great music tradition:

Alice In Chains
Pearl Jam
Jimi Hendrix

Sandfrog would belong in the "crap" category, which includes MxPx, Harvey Danger, Vendetta Red, Kenny G, and Boy Meets Girl. Yes, the same group that did the late 80s ARC track "Waiting For A Star To Fall" (ARC=Adult Radio Crap)

Anyways, back to baseball, but if you want more of musical opinions, check out Music and Bremertonians, our musical sister to Sports and Bremertonians. We'll have some more stuff there in the coming weeks, I can promise that much.

Yeah, back to baseball...

2004 $2.5 million (200K signing bonus)
2005 $3.1 million
2006 $3.1 million
(2007 $3.25 million option with a $250,000 buyout)

Scott Spiezio is a nice player. He's better than Jeff Cirillo at this point. That being said, he is not worth $9.15 million. But since the Mariners are afraid of bringing Richie Sexson home after the 2004 season, they will have their 1st baseman in place when John Olerud retires. Rejoice Boston and New York fans, while you guys are getting players like Gary Sheffield and Curt Schilling, we're getting Scott Spiezio and Quinton McCracken! Like the slogan says...

"KILL" BILL: This ain't a movie. These are your 2004 Seattle Mariners.

Yes, I reserve the right to change my opinion...

But that's only after the Mariners acquire a big bat. Which is not going to happen. So there you go.


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Since I'm not in Bremerton, I haven't seen this current crew of Knights play nor will I have an opportunity to do so in the near future.

But I can talk about future Tar Heel Marvin Williams. The guy has it made, or will have it made, I should say. A year from now, Marvin won't have to worry about those pesky Central Kitsap Cougars. He will have to worry about teams such as Kentucky and UConn. Those two teams are on UNC's 2004-2005 schedule. The Tar Heels will also play in the Maui Invitational, which will also feature Louisville and Texas. And of course, the ACC schedule is pretty tough as well, as some of you well know.

Quite simply, Marvin is the best player to come through the Bremerton basketball program, and that's saying something. There was Rick Walker in the mid-70s, who went on to play at Puget Sound and is now the boys' basketball coach at King's West in Chico. And there's Miah Davis, currently a senior at Pacific. But those guys weren't ACC-players like Marvin will be.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to see Marvin play in college, in person. There's a chance of that happening, because I have a feeling that Arkansas and UNC could play each other in the coming years. Stan Heath is rebuilding the Razorback program back to national prominence and his recruiting class for 2004-2005 isn't too shabby either with Mississippi's Al Jefferson and Missouri's Steven Hill coming to Fayetteville next fall. And who knows, the Razorbacks and Tar Heels could very well meet in the NCAA Tournament down the line.

One thing's for sure, it's nice to see a Bremerton-native get mentioned by Dick Vitale on national television. During the Illinois-UNC game a few weeks ago, Vitale mentioned Marvin's name while talking about the future of Tar Heels basketball. Paraphrasing here, "if you want to beat North Carolina, you better do it this year." And Dickie V is right on with that statement.

It sure beats Keith Jackson calling Willie Bloomquist, "the Bremerton, WA native", last summer during the Mariners rout of the A's on ESPN2.

Best of luck to Marvin and the rest of the Bremerton program...the season ain't over by a long shot.


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I know people have probably thought about it before, but here goes...

I've known all along that the good ol' formula for Earned Run Average is

Basically, the formula cranks out what a pitcher would give up if he pitched a complete game. I've sat and thought about this many a time since pitchers barely ever pitch complete games anymore. If a starter goes seven solid innings, it's considered good and even lengthy nowadays. Furthermore, ERA is still more applicable to starting pitchers than it is to relief pitchers.

ERA to me means almost nothing when used with relievers. Do I really want to know what the pitcher is going to give up over nine innings, an amount of innings which may actually amount to anywhere from four to nine outings?

So I thought about it more today and realized it may be easier for me to adapt the ERA formula simply by dropping the multiplier--

If anything, this would make it easier for me to discern the likelihood of how often a reliever is going to give up runs.

For instance, let's say Kazu Sasaki has given up 58 earned runs in 30 innings (don't put it past him).
The conventional ERA formula would chug out a number of [(58/30)*9]= 17.40
The simple ER/IP ratio would be (58/30)= 1.93
Assuming Sasaki pitches one inning each outing like he usually does, one could expect him to give up 1.93 earned runs per outing.

Another example --
Eddie Guardado gave up 21 earned runs in 65 1/3 innings in 2003.
ER/IP = 0.32
If he pitches an inning every time out, he'll give up a run an average of every three or four outings.

Another --
Arthur Rhodes gave up 25 earned runs in 54 innings in 2003.
ER/IP = 0.46
If he pitches an inning every time out, he'll give up a run an average of every two or three outings.

And lastly --
Shigetoshi Hasegawa gave up 12 earned runs in 73 innings in 2003.
ER/IP = 0.16
You could take this one of two ways, since Shig was both a setup man that threw over an inning at times as well as a one-inning closer. As a one-inning guy, he'd give up a run every six or seven outings. As a two-inning guy, it'd be every three or four outings. As a combination, well, I don't have time to do that right now.

Interestingly enough, the multiplier on the ERA formula could be used to tabulate ratios for conventional starts from Joel Pineiro or whatnot.
Joel Pineiro gave up 89 earned runs in 211 2/3 innings--
ER/IP = 0.42
...but let's crank this out for, say, a typical seven-inning start.
[(ER/IP)*7] = 2.94
Assuming the seven-inning start, one could say that Joel Pineiro gives up an average of three runs a game. His standard ERA is 3.78. So yeah, you can mess around with the multiplier and get different numbers for different amounts of innings. I'm just saying that none of these guys throws nine innings on a regular basis. So why use nine-inning stats?

So yes, ERA as we know it is convenient and universally accepted, and this ER/IP ratio would give us (or at least me) a better grip on what I think a reliever will do. Of course, I'm sure something will develop out there (if it hasn't already) where huge spreadsheets that show [(ER/IP)*N], with N being the number of innings to be pitched in a game.

I'm sure there are many flaws to the ER/IP ratio, but it's just something I thought I'd throw out there.

The ER/IP ratio may be total hogwash, but my mind just doesn't like to jive with ERA's that are based on nine innings when they're used on relief pitchers that don't work anything close to nine innings at a time. That's my beef, that's all. You don't have to use ER/IP if you don't want to. I just think I might -- nothing more, nothing less.


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Well, here's the Sun story on last night's CK/B-town basketball game, as an addendum to my initial-reaction post from last night. CK won 75-55.

The Sun said only that the Knights had "close to 18 turnovers."

Fellow 2000 B-town classmate Scott noted that CK's number 22 was lighting it up all night. Sam Weller was his name, and he had 34 of the Cougars' 75 points.

Marvin Williams had 35 of the Knights' 55 points (64% of the total offense); his career high is 36.

After the Knights got off to the decent start (Marvin with two dunks), CK poured it on for an 18-2 run.

CK had three scorers in double figures (Weller, Brice Brooks with 18, Neil Fryer with 16), and Bremerton had Marvin score double figures.

Lastly, Marvin is now across the 1000-pt mark as a Knight; he now has 1012 career points.

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Esteemed reader and, as it turns out, fellow Bremertonian Sally (thank you, Sally) has brought to my attention the latest Rob Neyer column.

His basic conclusion is that even if someone somehow considers that Guillen and Vizquel are a wash as players, the blatant tiebreaker in the situation is that "[Vizquel] still makes $3.5 million more than Guillen."

The mere thought of the move was absolutely dumbfounding. I'm glad we'll never have to figure out whether or not such a move would have benefitted the offense or defense, but I do want to know why on earth the Mariners would have wanted to take on that much in Vizquel's salary just to get a player who, if better than Guillen, was only negligibly (try saying "negligibly" five times fast) better, and is frigging old.

Frankly and lastly, I like Derek Zumsteg's adapted City of Fire theory to explain the pure boneheadedness of the majority of the Mariners' offseason moves, including this fallen Vizquel deal.

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3 year deal

``The signing of Scott Spiezio provides us with another quality hitter,'' Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi said. ``He is a great situational hitter and has an ability to come through in the clutch, which was evident during the 2002 playoffs.''

Evident? Hell, by this logic, Tony Womack has an ability to come through in the clutch as well.

Spiezio is a nice player. Not a great player, but the Mariners could have done worse here. But he is not worth 9 million. Not even close.

But he's a veteran, and he's over 30. YEP, HE'S A MARINER.


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Jeff Cirillo to the Mets for Roger Cedeno?

Not a great move, nor a horrible move.

The Mariners will be better off without Jeff Cirillo. Vice versa.

Just get this done...


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Well isn't this special???

The Mariners have a club policy against discussing details of contract talks, but Mariners officials and Tony Attanasio, Ichiro's San Diego-based agent, were known to have had several discussions about a long-term contract for the All-Star outfielder, seemingly a three-year deal that could be signed soon.

Talks, which began last summer, were said to be amicable but were reportedly at a stalemate last month with the two sides a large distance apart.

Attanasio was thought to have been seeking about $15 million a year for Ichiro, with the Mariners offering in the $8 million to $10 million range.

A potential settlement could be back-loaded, because after the 2004 season the Mariners will dispense with at least two of their current three top salaries, $8.5 million due reliever Kazu Sasaki and $7.7 million to first baseman John Olerud.

You know, for a franchise that prides itself on being "fiscally responsible", a back-loaded contract doesn't really fit in with their plans, does it?????

WAIT, this is ICHIRO we are talking about. Who am I kidding to think that this franchise would step up and sign or trade for a big bat, such as Miguel Tejada or Nomar Garciaparra. As for Mr. Mia Hamm, he's about ready to be shipped from Boston to the White Sox for Magglio Ordonez. And then the "Good Guys" will deal NO-MAH to the Dodgers.

But hey, don't worry about the Mariners guys and gals....

They are currently talking to Deivi Cruz's mom as we're speaking...


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I'll keep this one short, because I was at the Knight game. I'll basically try to echo what David Locke said on KJR.

The Sonics scored on exactly one out of nine possessions in the five-minute overtime period.

The Suns' only field goal of the overtime was the Anfernee Hardaway (washed-up) alley-oop to Shawn Marion.

You read that right -- Phoenix outscored Seattle 3-2 in the overtime.

Quoth coach Nate McMillan: "Twenty-six turnovers? I don't even know how we stayed in this game."

The Sonics stayed in the game because they somehow managed to outrebound (rare) the Suns 59-41.

The time when I used to care about the NBA also coincided with two things -- (1) when the Sonics were good, and (2) when at least one of the teams managed to top the 100-point mark in every game most of the time.

I know it's unrealistic nowadays, but I feel cheated if I see an NBA score and both teams score under 100 points apiece. If I wanted low scores, I'd watch a college game.

Oh, I never mentioned it yet here, and I should have posted about it Friday night...in that Nets/Grizzlies game where the Nets got squashed, Stromile Swift had the absolute video-game style dunk (alley-oop) of the frigging year. The pass was somewhat of a teardropper (I think it was from Bonzi) and it seemed like Swift had to reach his arm to full extension to pick it out of the air and pack it. Simply amazing. It was one of those dunks where I would watch SportsCenter latenight repeats just to see it again.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003


This is getting a little too crazy. Overtime again for the Canucks. This one is the Canucks' fifth straight overtime and their 11th in the past 15 games. They are now 6-2-3 in those overtime games. That totals out to 15 out of a possible 22 points.

Dan Cloutier came back from an injury tonight and gave up only one goal, flying in the face of his giving-up-goals-in-twos tendencies. He made 29 stops, though the goal allowed in the latter half of the third period was a shorthanded one by Rem Murray.

Scoring goals tonight for the Canucks were Mattias Ohlund (5th this year) and Brendan Morrison (game winner, 12th overall goal this year).

Todd Bertuzzi has five assists in his last four games.

Right now, the Canucks sit at 17-7-5-2 with 41 points, good for what would be the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs if the season were to end right now. The hated Detroit Red Wings would be number one with 42 points. The Canucks have a three-point lead on Colorado in their division, which is a very good thing. The LA Kings lead the pathetic Pacific division with 36 points, a point total that is a mere fifth-best in the conference...but alas, they lead their division.

It's divisions like that and the NHL Southeast division (crappy teams like Washington, Carolina, and Tampa Bay win it every year) that make my mind draw comparisons at the 1994, 1995, and 1998 AL West divisions like I did earlier.

Canucks tomorrow night at Dallas. I know Dallas has been crap this year...but it's still Dallas, and it's still the second game of a back-to-back.

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Has the AL West division looked this bad since 1998, or better yet, 1995 or 1994?

Of course, there's no chance in hell (barring some absolutely brutal baseball) that the division winner would finish under .500 and take it, as in 1994, though the players' strike wiped out the season so no one had to see a pathetic team get into the playoffs. In 1994, Texas went 52-62 (.456 win pct; extrapolated to a 162-game record of 74-88) and had a one-game lead on Oakland and a two-game lead on Seattle when the players walked. It's moot to this argument, but I thought I'd point it out. In 1995, the Mariners went 79-66 (.545 win pct; extrapolated to a 162-game record of about 88-74) and won the one-game playoff win the California Angels. In 1998, Texas went 88-74 and took the division by three games over the Anaheim Angels.

In 1995 and 1998, winning percentages that equal what amount to 88-win seasons were good enough to win the AL West.

Miguel Tejada will no longer be carrying the A's on a 20-game winning streak, nor will he be breathing firepower into the A's offense. Other than Eric Chavez, they don't have a fearsome offensive catalyst. What the A's are probably hoping for is that Chavez and the supporting cast can scratch out a couple runs and hope for Hudson/Mulder/Zito/Redman/Harden/Duchscherer to stand on their heads all season and not get injured. In a way, they're hoping for what the Mariners are hoping for, which is scratching out runs. Who protects the lead for the teams -- therein lies the difference.

The Mariners in my mind are hoping for the offense to somehow scratch out a few runs early so the bullpen can slam the door shut. Problem is, there's gonna be days when the starting pitchers give up a couple of early runs. If you didn't notice what happened last year when the starters gave up a couple runs early...I'll just say I lost confidence and the air was sucked out of the Safe because no one had faith in that offense. Once again, the Mariners are your team of the edict "thou shalt scoreth early and thou shalt hangeth on."

The Angels. They scare me. Again. That is, unless North Kitsap's own gutless Aaron Sele comes back and sucks every five days, and they'll have to let him because they're paying him so much. Of course, Arte Moreno did have the cojones to eat Kevin Appier's contract last year, so Sele has to watch it if he does too badly, though he'd still get the money if they ate his contract. I'll say it again, the Angels can thank their lucky stars that Aaron Sele was hurt, or they wouldn't have won the World Series in 2002. Book that. Did you think the Mariners had a chance after they lost Game 4 of the 2001 ALCS and Aaron Sele was due to pitch the next game (refer to the third-to-last paragraph here to see my feelings on this)? I didn't. Anyway, the Angels have Colon, and though they're looking to dump Washburn or Pedro Lite (Ramon Ortiz), they still have that sick bullpen (it pains me to say that because Ben Weber is a nutball and Brendan Donnelly is nuts too, and someone asked Francisco Rodriguez to start wearing Weber glasses last year), and they still have Erstad (someone tell me if it's his "off" year in the "off year-on year" cycle), Garret, Salmon (good at times), and the huge righty stick in Glaus. They might get Nomar. That wouldn't be good. ...BUT THEY LOST SCOTT SPIEZIO!!! Who cares. Who frigging cares. Adding Bartolo Colon and losing Scott Spiezio still has a net result of "big on the plus side."

The Rangers, well...is there really anything to be said? I guess there is -- start studying up on your Rangers AA and AAA rosters so you know more about the hack pitchers who will be shutting down the Mariners come August and September.

Well, I really don't know if there was any continuity to this post, but I think it had to do with the possibility that the division may suck, and that may be the only thing we can hold onto if we have any hope of seeing the Seattle Mariners reach the playoffs. Even though the AL West division winner in 2004 could have a lackluster regular season record, we have learned something over the last couple years of playoffs -- if you make the playoffs, you can wipe the slate clean, regular-season records be damned. In 2002, the Diamondbacks (defending champs), Braves, and Yankees all bit it in the first round. This past year, the Giants had a great regular season and the Marlins stunned them. The Braves did an amazing retooling job and also had a great season, only to get beaten by the Cubs team of almost-destiny.

Even if all these crappy moves my the Mariner brass result in an 88-74 team (my prediction) that stumbles into the playoffs (not my prediction), then I'll forget about these crappy moves for just a small amount of time because the first goal would have been reached. Goal number one right now is to win the division, and go from there. In 2002, the goal was to win it all, but we know where that went. If the Mariners get to the playoffs, they could win the World Series and I will still grill management for the crappy moves they have made, because a team made up of moves like this that somehow wins the World Series would have gotten the king of all dumb strokes of luck. The sad thing is, everyone and their mother out there knows that if this team won 88 games and the World Series, the management would feel that their hackneyed player-personnel methods were vindicated and they'd give us all another offseason much like the one we're experiencing right now.


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Quick question: what do you get when you have a basketball team that shows a combination of the following?

No defense, no rebounding, no penetration into the lane, a ton of turnovers, its best player (who is tall) camped out on the wing most of the time when he should be parked under or near the basket most of the time (much like good things happen when Todd Bertuzzi is parked in front of the net), missed rotations on defense leaving shooters wide open, players getting lost in screens on defense, etc etc

You get what the Bremerton Knights did at home against Central Kitsap tonight. I don't want to be too harsh here, but as both a sports fan in general AND as a former B-town Knight, I was almost ashamed that I had paid $5 to watch that game. If you can sum it all up in one word: sloppy. In one phrase: no defense. One more phrase: no rebounding.

Simply put, Central Kitsap executed much better as a team, played a lot more cleanly, could rebound, played superior defense, and took advantage of B-town turnovers, of which there were many.

Bremerton...I felt like I was watching the bad version of this year's Sonics out there in this way -- they were settling for the perimeter shot -- is that something you do when you've got a 6'9" future North Carolina player who's three inches taller than anyone else on the court? I think not. Marvin was guilty of a couple turnovers and racking up three fouls in the third quarter, but other than that, his supporting cast was racking up the turnovers left and right. Bad passes, lost dribbles, double dribbles, traveling, you name it. You can't execute on offense when no one can hold on to the ball. There were also stretches of quick shot plays which didn't involve Marvin Williams, and instead involved point guards who probably shot 5% from downtown.

Defense. None on the Bremerton end. CK's guys were blowing past Knight defenders on the way to the rack all night. Even Marvin got blown past by CK center Brice Brooks on an occasion or two.

Rebounding. Ugh. I can't even begin to tell you how many second- and third-chance opportunities that CK got off of their missed shots. Boxing out was nonexistent. If it was December 26th in Canada and this game were held, the Knights would be deported for spoiling Boxing (out) Day.

What did the Knight fans and alums get to cheer for in this game? Two of the first three baskets were Marvin Williams dunks. The first was an alley-oop and the second was a Marvin solo effort.

From there, it was all downhill as the sloppiness set in. CK opened up leads of well over 20 points in the second half. The 20-point lead was in full effect in the fourth quarter when the offense suddenly adopted what appeared to be its only clear plan of the night -- have Marvin Williams launch a ton of threes. This worked a few times, but CK knew full well that all they had to do was keep hanging on to the ball and playing keep away -- that or wait for the Knights to turn the ball over again. At one point in the fourth quarter, Marvin looked at coach Casey Lindberg and said "I'm not passing the ball anymore, coach." That's how bad it was.

To somewhat credit the Knights, one look at the program shows some contrasts. The Knights have a bunch of guys that are 6'1" and 6'2" (non-Marvin guys) whereas the CK team has a bunch of 6'4" guys. Still, though, the rebounding crevasse was simply immense.

It was somewhat dismaying to see the Knights get pasted after two good wins at Foss and against Olympia. Next league game is on 3 Jan at North Kitsap. In the meantime, they take off for the City of Palms Classic tournament in Fort Myers, FL.

More exact figures on all this come tomorrow morning when the Sun releases the linescore. I think it's easy to presume Marvin accounted for about 60-70% of the total Knights offense.

I can't remember the exact score (I have bad memory and wasn't keeping a stat sheet or anything) but it was probably like 78-56 or thereabouts.

As I said, I don't wanna be too harsh on the guys, but I can pretty much rest assured that coach Lindberg told the team about everything I've pointed out in gory detail and probably more than that, too.

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There is some great news.

Jamie Moyer has been selected as the 2003 winner of the Hutch Award, given to the Major League Baseball player displaying the same "honor, courage and dedication to baseball both on and off the field" that Seattle native Fred Hutchison displayed during his career.

I think we all can agree that Jamie Moyer is a class act. The guy's been money for the most part since he came to Seattle in July 1996, when he was acquired for Darren friggin Bragg. So, in light of all of this bad Mariner management situation, we can celebrate some good Mariner-related news.

Congrats to Jamie!!!


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Sorry older women of Seattle, Omar Vizquel is not coming to Seattle. He failed his physical.


But hey, bring us Magglio Ordonez, and the hate will disappear....

I doubt it though. When I say Ordonez, he'll probably get REY Ordonez. ARGGGGGH!


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As this joke of an offseason continues, let's discuss who will be joining this smashing crew of merry Mariners in 2004:

Dann Howitt would make a great 5th OF. Remember him? He was the man who hit the last home run off of Nolan Ryan.

Jeffrey Leonard. Every team needs a Hack Man.

Rey Quinones. Maybe he has a special relationship with the Mariners as well. Rule 5 (Luis Ugueto) needs a mentor as well.

That's 3 guys that I listed. Hell, don't put it past this organization to bring back another former Mariner.

So, the next former Mariner to join the nostalgia party will probably be Darren Bragg. He's a free agent. No really, it's true. He IS a free agent.

I said this was going to be a huge offseason for the Mariners ever since the 2003 season ended. Well, I guess it is huge...in a very bad way.


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Omar Vizquel is back in Seattle because the club not only has a special relationship with him, but the older women of the greater Seattle area have been in mourning since November 1993.

Wait a minute, if the M's have a special relationship with Pat Borders, then what is their relationship with Omar?

Did I mention that I hate this friggin joke of a front office???


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OOOOONO Vizquel is coming back to Seattle.



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I told myself I wasn't going to do a Mariner-related post until tonight, but of course, there is always something. Check out this "letter from Edgar":

Dear Mariners Fan,

I would like to thank you for the support you have given me
since I first joined the Mariners in 1987. It's one of the
reasons I decided to come back for the 2004 season.

I hope you are also planning to be back at Safeco Field
next year.

My teammates and I are already working out to get ready for
next season. It's good to have my old friend Raul Ibanez back
in our lineup to help us get back to the post-season next year.

I'll be taking some swings in the batting cage at Safeco Field
today, and I hope you're preparing getting your 2004 season
tickets now. The Mariners have told me about four season ticket
plans, including the 16-Game Plan. They all sound like good deals,
with guaranteed seats for some great matchups and special events,
as well as discount ticket prices and an opportunity to buy
tickets to home playoff games.

From my wife Holli, my children Alex and Tessa, and all the
Mariners, I wish you and your family the best during this
holiday season.


PS - For more information on Mariners ticket plans call one
of my friends in the Mariners Front Office during normal
business hours at (206) 346-4001 or click here:

I'm calling bullcrap on this. M's PR director Rebecca Hale probably typed this up, under orders from Howard Lincoln.

You know, I love this team, but dammit, this front office really makes it hard to root for this team.

But, I love Edgar Martinez. He's Seattle Mariner baseball. This franchise would be worse off without him. Which brings me to my next point:

Edgar, you don't deserve this bullcrap at all. The M's brass lied to you when they said that they were going to make big moves. I'm still waiting for the Glendon Rusch minor league contract.

That being said, I'll probably travel to Arlington, TX for two hot as hell days to watch Edgar play ball. He's the man. That's all there is to it.

"KILL" BILL: Hey, Quinton McCracken has smoked a lot of crack in his day.

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Here's an update on my Bremerton wrestling post from last night. The Knights racked up six pins and a major in a 64-9 win over Gig Harbor. Read a tiny bit more about it with this Sun blip. Gig Harbor actually won only one match on the mat as opposed to the two I gave them credit for; they got six forfeit points.

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MarinersWeekly, another blog, has been added to the sidebar. I Google searched for Mariner blogs sometime in the last couple of weeks, and I did see this one, but it hadn't been updated in a while, and I thought it might have been done for, as some other blogs I've seen where the writer just says "screw it, no one's reading. I'm done." But that's not the case here. Welcome to the new bloggers, of which there are many. And it's nitpicking, but I agree with Peter of Mariner Musings when I say that I hope some of the Blogger templates eventually change. The Sports and B's template is one of the original templates (the one that Steve's blog is using), but severely modified.

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Softy yesterday made a point yesterday that was agreed upon by subsequent people at KJR throughout yesterday -- the Mariners over the years have been a team throught the years that has not been a team built on free agent signings, but rather through trades and the draft.

Take that for what you will.

Also from Softy today...a caller asked why the Mariners aren't even considering signing Ivan Rodriguez or Javy Lopez. The caller suggested getting rid of Davis, while Softy suggested he would rather get rid of Wilson and keep Davis (some potential from the left side of the plate). Softy asked why the Mariners are so married to the idea of keeping Dan Wilson even though catcher is one of the positions where the Mariners could so obviously and should obviously upgrade themselves, and that's been the case for YEARS because Dan Wilson can't hit worth a damn. If Bob Melvin had any input at all, I think the only positive he could add to the situation was that in Arizona, he knew that you didn't have to have a grossly overpaid Dan Wilson-type catcher to win a World Series...you could have gotten through with a better-hitting alternative hack like Kelly Stinnett [later correction: Rod Barajas] or Damian Miller. And I think Ben Davis is better than both of those guys.

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Since I don't want to waste this post on OOOOOOOOONO Vizquel, here are my 2003-2004 Bowl Projections (my winners in italics):

New Orleans
Dec. 16, 5 p.m. (ESPN2) North Texas (9-3) vs. Memphis (8-4)
Last year: North Texas 24, Cincinnati 19
Mobile, Ala.
Dec. 18, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2) Miami of Ohio (12-1) vs. Louisville (9-3)
Last year: Marshall 38, Louisville 15
Dec. 22, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN) N.C. State (7-5) vs. Kansas (6-6)
Last year: Texas Tech 55, Clemson 15
Fort Worth, Texas
Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN) Boise St. (12-1) vs. TCU (11-1)
Last year: N/A
Las Vegas
Dec. 24, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN) New Mexico (8-4) vs. Oregon State (7-5)
Last year: UCLA 27, New Mexico 13
Dec. 25, 5 p.m. (ESPN) Hawaii (8-5) vs. Houston (7-5)
Last year: Tulane 36, Hawaii 28
Pontiac, Mich.
Dec. 26, 4 p.m. (ESPN) Bowling Green (10-3) vs. Northwestern (6-6)
Last year: Boston College 51, Toledo 25
Dec. 26, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN) Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. Cal (7-6)
Last year: Pittsburgh 38, Oregon State 13
Charlotte, N.C.
Dec. 27, 8 a.m. (ESPN) Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. Virginia (7-5)
Last year: Virginia 48, West Virginia 22
San Antonio
Dec. 29, 6 p.m. (ESPN) Michigan St. (8-4) vs. Nebraska (9-3)
Last year: Wisconsin 31, Colorado 28 (OT)
Dec. 30, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN) Texas Tech (7-5) vs. Navy (8-4)
Last year: Oklahoma St. 33, Sou. Miss 23
San Diego
Dec. 30, 5 p.m. (ESPN) Washington State (9-3) vs. Texas (10-2)
Last year: Kansas St. 34, Arizona St. 27
San Jose, Calif.
Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2) Fresno St. (8-5) vs. UCLA (6-6)
Last year: Fresno State 30, Georgia Tech 21
Nashville, Tenn.
Dec. 31, 9 a.m. (ESPN) Auburn (7-5) vs. Wisconsin (7-5)
Last year: Minnesota 29, Arkansas 14
El Paso, Texas
Dec. 31, 11 a.m. (CBS) Oregon (8-4) vs. Minnesota (9-3)
Last year: Purdue 34, Washington 24
Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN) Utah (9-2) vs. Southern Miss (9-3)
Last year: TCU 17, Colorado State 3
Shreveport, La.
Dec. 31, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN) Arkansas (8-4) vs. Missouri (8-4)
Last year: Ole Miss 27, Nebraska 23
San Francisco
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2) Colorado State (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)
Last year: Virginia Tech 20, Air Force 13
Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 1, 8 a.m. (ESPN) Iowa (9-3) vs. Florida (8-4)
Last year: Michigan 38, Florida 30
Jacksonville, Fla.
Jan. 1, 9:30 a.m. (NBC) Maryland (9-3) vs. West Virginia (8-4)
Last year: N.C. State 28, Notre Dame 6
Orlando, Fla.
Jan. 1, 2003, 10 a.m. (ABC) Georgia (10-3) vs. Purdue (9-3)
Last year: Auburn 13, Penn State 9
Pasadena, Calif.
Jan. 1, 2 p.m. (ABC) USC (11-1) vs. Michigan (10-2)
Last year: Oklahoma 34, Washington St. 14
Jan. 1, 2003, 5:30 p.m. (ABC) Miami (10-2) vs. Florida St. (10-2)
Last year: USC 38, Iowa 17
Jan. 2, 11 a.m. (FOX) Oklahoma St. (9-3) vs. Ole Miss (9-3)
Last year: Texas 35, LSU 20
Jan. 2, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN) Clemson (8-4) vs. Tennessee (10-2)
Last year: Maryland 30, Tennessee 3
Tempe, Ariz.
Jan. 2, 5 p.m. (ABC) Ohio St. (10-2) vs. Kansas St. (11-3)
Last year: Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2OT)
Jan. 3, 9 a.m. (ESPN) Tulsa (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6)
Last year: Boise State 34, Iowa State 16
New Orleans
Jan. 4, 5 p.m. (ABC) Oklahoma (12-1) vs. LSU (12-1)
Last year: Georgia 26, Florida State 13

Oklahoma wins the BCS title, but USC will take both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls. You heard it here first. Yes, I think some of the coaches in the ESPN/USA Today poll will go against the rules and vote for the Trojans, if they do beat Michigan in Pasadena.

The Bowl Season...the most wonderful time of the year, since the Mariners don't play in late October.

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I'm bored, the place I worked at last summer didn't take me back for temp work, so I'm left doing crazy, I-have-no-life things like this...transcribing radio segments that I recorded onto tape.

From September 16, 2003...on or around 7pm that day.
Game that day: Mariners at Rangers. Gil Meche against John Thomson.
Radio personalities involved: KJR's Dick Fain and David Locke, and a couple of callers.

Earlier call (will be referenced later in the post)...
Fain: ...let's go back to the phone lines. Dave, you're on 950 KJR, what's up, Dave?
Dave: you know, I don't even know where to begin with you, I mean, I just wanna turn the radio off when I hear your voice anymore...
Fain: why is that?
Dave: You've such a negative...I wanna say "jackass," I don't wanna be too harsh...
Fain: I've been positive all day, for the past hour and fifteen minutes!!
Dave: no, man, it's been the whole year, this thing you have for the Mariners is sickening. The fact is, the Seahawks have sucked forEVER, and...
Fain: Dave, lemme say...
Dave: hold on, lemme just get this off my chest...
Fain: Hang on, Dave, I'll let you finish, I've got one quick question for you -- Was I right?
Dave: NO!
Fain: Whaddaya...Whaddaya mean, no?!!
Dave: No! You know, you guys...guys like you are just pathetic, you know, the Mariners have done A TON over the last 10 years to try to turn this thing around, and it's STILL a crapshoot. It's not like the NBA or hockey where everybody gets into the playoffs. You have to be damn good and damn lucky in some ways to make the playoffs. The Mariners have tried EVERYTHING from trading prospects -- top-tiered prospects -- to not trading top-tiered prospects and either way as it works out
Fain: Dave, can you be more specific
Fain: What have the Mariners done to make themselves better? What top-name prospects have the Mariners traded?
Dave: They have tried...they have tried and traded away Lowe and Varitek and some top-name prospects along the way...
Dave: ...and it did not work, so now they've tried it the other way where they do the offseason, pick up free agents, and DON'T TELL ME THEY HAVEN'T PICKED UP FREE AGENTS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE!
Fain: Who did they pick up? John Mabry and Greg Colbrunn. Are those difference-makers??
Dave: B.S.!! B.S.!!! You gotta look at ALL OF THEM!! You gotta look at Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Ichiro...and go down the list...
Fain: Dave, Dave, then, you're not listening to what I'm saying.
Dave: No, I am.
Fain: Wait a second. You're not, no, wait a second. All right, Dave, I'm gonna let you go unless you let me finish, okay.
Dave: Hold on, hold on.
Fain: I was not critical of the Seattle Mariners up until the middle of the 2002 season. Those players that you just named off are players that they've picked up two or three years ago. I'm talking about the trade deadline of 2002 is when I soured on the Seattle Mariners and since then, they have done nothing to -- it's not a real word, but -- UNSOUR me. They have done absolutely nothing since that time to make this team better, and you can't say that they have.
Dave: I CAN say that they have.
Fain: All right, who?!
Dave: you disagree with their strategy, but you're on them like it's nobody's business, and it's disgusting because
Fain: ...because no one else is!
Dave: ...the Seahawks have done NOTHING over the last 10, 20, whatever, 15 years...
Fain: and this, I think is a beginning of a new era, Dave
Dave: so what? you don't even know how it's gonna turn out yet. You don't. They're 2-0 and one year they go out and make some moves and they get in a guy like Ray Rhodes and all of a sudden, it's everything is great with the Seahawks, and that's B.S., man. Cut the Mariners some slack and say look, they tried this year to do it in the offseason, it didn't work out. Next year, let's see what they do. Maybe next year they bring in a couple free agents and then they DO make some trades. But year to year, it's a crapshoot, and all I know is that they tried. You cannot say that about the Seahawks.
Fain: Dave, I appreciate the call even though you called me a jackass and enjoy meaningless baseball in September. Now..if the Mariners go out and improve themselves going into the 2004 season, then I will give them a shot. I call it like I see it. I'm not gonna coddle to anybody. I'm not gonna coddle to the Seattle Mariners. I call it like I see it, and what I saw -- Dave never gave me a name that they have picked up in the last year and a half that has made a hill of beans difference on this team. You know why? Because he couldn't FIND one. If they go out and shore up this baseball team over the offseason, then I'm gonna come on the radio in March during spring training and say "you know what? I gotta hand it to Howard Lincoln. I gotta hand it to Pat Gillick. They did what they needed to do to make this team a championship-contending team for 2004," but you know what? They haven't DONE that yet, so I'm not gonna give 'em credit where credit is not due.
(next call)
Fain: Doug. What's up, man?
Doug: Hey, how's it going?
Fain: Good.
Doug: Sittin' through that last caller there...I gave up on the Mariners back after the 116-win season. You know, you can only go on for so long having your hopes up and pinning your heart every season on a baseball team that's actually gonna go somewhere in the playoffs only to get broken down, you know, and...just like you said, they haven't done anything since midway through last season. That's why Piniella's gone, and that's why they're going nowhere this year, and I think you're gonna see a firesale at the end of this year of the free agents that we're gonna lose, and we're gonna be back to the way we were back in the Kingdome.
Fain: Well, I certainly hope not, and I appreciate it, Doug. I think that in order for Howard Lincoln to keep up his 90-90-3 ratio, which I think he believes in to the Nth degree -- and when I say 90-90-3 I mean 90 wins, $90 million payroll, and three million fans -- that's the bottom line for Howard Lincoln. And so far this year, the business plan has worked like a charm. He got his $90M payroll...okay, it was 94 or 95, he got his 90 wins, or he will in the next week if the M's can pull their head out, and he already got his three million fans/ He's makin' money. He's makin' money. And if he wants to continue that business plan, he better not do what Doug just said, and that is the firesale, because if he gets rid of Cameron and Freddy and Edgar Martinez and Carlos Guillen and Shigetoshi Hasegawa, if he gets rid of all those guys and doesn't replace them...he won't have the $90M payroll, he won't have the 90 wins...and he sure as heck won't have the three million fans.
--end segment--

At this point, the Mariners are getting blanked 9-0 in Arlington...
KJR talent: Dick Fain and evening show host David Locke.

Locke: So, Dick, this will not be hard for you, but I need you to do something. Brian Lambert, I'm gonna need you to do something. This probably will not be hard for Brian Lambert. But really, we have a service to the community tonight on Locked on Sports and...everybody's gonna have to take part in it.
Fain: A burial?
Locke: No, no, no...a little bit like Alcoholics Anonymous. We're not quite "Hi, I'm David, I'm an alcoholic," but we're close -- I need you to repeat after me. And your case would be, "Hi, I'm Dick."
Fain: Hi, I'm Dick.
Locke: "...and I fully realize now that the Mariners have absolutely no chance to make the playoffs."
Fain: ...and I fully realize now that the Mariners have absolutely no chance to make...
Locke: You see, it's not that painful. And I gotta tell you something. If our good friends Dave Grosby and Mike Gastineau can paint a positive picture TOMORROW morning, THEY are miracle workers. They are HELEN KELLER, because they're deaf AND blind if they believe that. I'm tellin' you what...
Fain: I tell ya what, Groz is startin' to turn over, I mean he still says he has faith...
Locke: Dude, I listened to him today. I listened the whole time. He didn't turn over at all. He was talking about how because the middle of the lineup actually drove in the runs yesterday, that that's a positive sign. What the hell's he talking about?
Fain: Hey, who's got a better record since the All-Star break, the Mariners or the Texas Rangers?
Locke: Or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays?
Fain: [unintelligible]
Locke: You know what, I was actually working on this today, you just screwed me, because this was gonna be on tomorrow's show, but actually did not get enough time to finish it. But I actually am trying to go through EVERY TEAM in the game and find that answer.
Fain: Oh, well I'm sure the Mariners have gotta be -- well, they're under .500 so they've gotta be like 20th in the Majors.
Locke: I actually wasn't using the All-Star break, that's what was making this more difficult. The All-Star break's easy, you can just print out the All-Star break...
Fain: It's actually worse if you just use about the last six weeks.
Locke: I was actually gonna give them the benefit of the doubt and I was gonna back it up further, so when they came home from that road trip, and then they fall apart.
Fain: It'd be a little more unbiased if you used the All-Star break.
Locke: Yeah, I'll buy that. You know what? I listened to Groz today. Groz and Dave Andriesen were talking about how they're kinda snakebit--
Locke: I'm listening to Groz today, to get back to my interruption of myself, and they're talking about "well, on some days they're getting great pitching and other days they're getting hitting but they don't get any pitching" -- I'm thinking THAT'S A BAD BASEBALL TEAM.
Fain: Yeah. That's what bad baseball teams do, that's what below-average baseball teams do. One day they get good pitching and no hitting, the other day they get good hitting and no pitching.
Locke: Like what's so complicated about this? That is by definition what a bad baseball team is. That's what bad baseball teams do. Why is everybody having such a hard time...
Fain: Well, they're mediocre. They're not BAD.
Locke: Right now, they're a bad baseball team and they have been a bad baseball team for quite a while.
Fain: and they've been mediocre at best since the All-Star break.
Locke: Yeah, they're not a good baseball team right now. Great, they're gonna win 90 games...I'll burst your bubble for this one. I don't have it right in front of me, but basically the breakdown goes that from like '80-'85, '81 was the strike, for that 5-yr period, an average of five teams a year won 90 games. For the next five-year span of complete five seasons, five teams a year averaged 90 wins. Then the next span, which is about eight years, but it's five seasons because of all the strikes, six teams a year averaged...now because of all the financial discrepancies that exist in this game...
Fain: it's less, isn't it??
Locke: ...it's NINE teams a year average 90 wins, and [also because of expansion], so winning 90 games, which the Mariners rest their hat on all the time and everyone talks about how great it is to win 90 games is getting you in the TOP THIRD of baseball, and if you're the number two revenue team in baseball, you sure as hell should be in the top third unless you're incompetent, which a few teams are -- thank God the Mariners aren't incompetent, though they have reeked of it in recent times.
Fain: Absolutely...I got into a battle with a caller about an hour ago when he took exception to the fact that I said that the Mariners haven't done anything to improve themselves in a year and a half. And I don't think they have.
Locke: What did he claim they have?
Fain: He said "oh, they've traded players and they've done these things," you know how your irrational callers call you and they don't really have anything to back up what they're saying?
Locke: My callers are brilliant, I don't know what you're talking about.
Fain: Oh, I've heard you rip a few guys.
Locke: Never. I have only good, considerate, and calm callers.
Fain: All right, David, take it away, my man...
Locke: ...it's over, guys. It's all over. ... Anybody who believes anything else at this point is absolutely in their own world. There is no way that you can believe that the Mariners have any chance at all to be in the playoffs. The division is lost, the Wild Card race is lost, the season is lost. The Seattle Mariner swoon of 2003 is colossably complete and over. And tonight, as a service to Mariner fans, we need you to come on the show, talk about it, talk about your feelings -- but we need you to come to grips with it, finally tonight, that it's over. John? Could you please come on the program for a moment. Please? "Hi, my name is John, and I fully understand that the Seattle Mariners will not make the playoffs in 2003."
John (producer or something): My name is John, and instead of watching the Mariners game, I'm watching the WNBA finals.
Locke: Please, could you come to grips, please? Just a little admission?
John: Oh, I've come to grips.
Locke: This is amazing. If we really start to try to put this into perspective and understand this, this team went from 116 wins, the championship series, to being out of the playoffs two years in a row, and in both times with fairly colossal swoons.
Locke: glad to see all the triple-A guys getting Major League work for the Mariners tonight. 7:04, I came to grips, as much as we've been talking about this and kind of understanding it, it just became evidently clear to me when Boston dropped two in the bottom of the 8th to stretch their lead to 2.5 in the Wild Card, there isn't a prayer in hell the Mariners are catching them, and it's over. GOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT. HOW TERRIBLE!! JUST AN ABSOLUTE 2-YEAR FADE OF COLOSSAL PROPORTIONS. You know what? I don't care about 90 wins, all the other things...they should be so EMBARRASSED in that front office!
--end segment--

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